Sensible Farming on Sensitive and Steep Land - A Catchment Management Approach in Tauranga Harbour


  • D.R. Hall



Sedimentation of Tauranga Harbour was identified as the top environment issue in a 2006 environmental report. Research has indicated that 63.7% of the sediment yield from the 98 641 hectares of contributing catchments of the southern harbour was from pasture that covers only 34.7% of the catchment area. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has developed and implemented a catchment management framework to work alongside farmers and the rural community to address the issue. The approach involved firstly gaining accurate data, including modelling sediment movement and accurately "ground-truthing" 2190 km of waterways in 28 subcatchments. It included data analysis for Land Use Capability (LUC), erosion risk, land cover, existing protection status of land, as well as developing an effective communications plan to engage landowners. A perception survey was also undertaken to determine what farmers understood of their environmental responsibility and what the drivers for change were. Council now has a much better understanding of land cover, current land use, the community concerns and their knowledge of issues in Tauranga Harbour. This has enabled a more focused catchment management approach and better use of funds to support riparian protection and land use change. Keywords: Catchment, sedimentation, riparian, erosion